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Regionals: Whatcom County 6-Pack Hits the Hardwood
February 23, 2019
Playoff basketball takes center stage for Whatcom County prep sports fans Saturday. Six Whatcom County teams are in action in the regional round of of state tournament action. Five of those teams will be just a trip to Mount Vernon away.
The action begins with the Lummi Nation boys battling Yakama Nation Tribal at 10am at Mount Vernon High School. You can hear that game on The Doug Lange Network with coverage beginning at 9:45am right here.
The No. 3 seed Blackhawks (23-1) take a perennial 1B power in the No. 6 seeded Eagles (16-8). Lummi head coach Jerome Toby told TDLN he expects an up-tempo game.
"They're going to play similar to our style, get up and run, play fast and get out in transition," said Toby. "We've got to be ready to defend at a high level for 32 minutes."
A Lynden Christian doubleheader follows at Mount Vernon High School as the defending champion Lyncs look to repeat. The No. 3 LC girls (20-3) battle No. 6 Annie Wright (20-3) out of Tacoma at 12:00pm
MORE: Hear from All 6 Whatcom County Coaches
The pace of play for them is really fast. I think it's faster than probably every team that we play in our league, from the full court, run and jump, get up and down...try and turn teams over, said Lynden Christian coach Brady Bomber.
The 1A boys top seed Lynden Christian boys (23-0) square off with the No. 8 seed Connell (19-4) at 2:00pm. LC coach Roger DeBoer says his group has been focused on staying hungry and very motivated in their quest to repeat.
"We are the hunted at this point, so we get everybody's best shot and we've got to be prepared for that," said DeBoer.
The Meridian girls will also be playing at 2:00pm. The 7th seeded Trojans (19-5) take on No. 2 Bellevue Christian (21-1) at Issaquah High School. It's a rematch for the two squads after Bellevue Christian edged Meridian 50-49 back on December 18 during the regular season.
"Bellevue Christian is a big physical team and we have to do a better job of keeping them off the offensive boards and rebounding in general," said Meridian coach Mark Gilmore. "We just can't give them second and third tries."
It's a Lynden doubleheader back at Mount Vernon High School to wrap things up. Both squads are No. 1 seeds in the 2A classification.
The Lynden girls (20-3) will play the No. 8 seed and defending state champions in W.F. West (17-6). The Lions will look to return the favor after falling to the Bearcats 56-43 last year in the regional round.
Lynden coach Rob Adams says playing their style is one of the keys versus W.F. West. "
"Us handling the rhythm and flow of the game," said Adams. "The second one, because we are so vertically challenged, we can't give up second scoring chance opportunities around the rim."
Finally it's the Lynden boys (22-1) battling No. 8 Franklin Pierce (23-3). Lions coach Brian Roper says they have been focusing on protecting the basketball this week in practice.
"They really want to disrupt, they want to get steals, they're gonna trap, they're gonna press, it's gonna come at you in different ways," said Roper. "They want to turn defense into offense and they do a nice job of it."
Win or lose, all six teams are moving on. The Lynden, Lynden Christian and Meridian squads go to the Yakima Sun Dome next week. Lummi Nation heads to the Spokane Arena. A regional win earns the team an opening day bye, while a loss sends the team into a loser out game on Wednesday.
- Doug Lange